ATHENS Feb 11 Greece's Alpha Bank is
in talks to acquire part of Citibank's local retail
banking operations, financial daily Imerisia reported on
Alpha Bank, Greece's fourth-largest lender by assets, is
majority owned by bank rescue fund HFSF.
Citibank, which started shipping and corporate lending
operations in Greece in 1964 and expanded into retail banking in
the 1980s, runs a network of 21 branches across the country.
The two banks are looking into a plan under which Alpha
would acquire Citibank's retail arm and its wealth services, the
paper said, without citing sources or providing any figures on
how much Alpha would pay for the deal.
Alpha declined comment. "It is our standard policy to not
comment on press reports," an Alpha Bank senior official told
Reuters, declining to be named.
The Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) would not
comment. Citibank was not immediately available for comment.
The country's debt crisis prompted foreign banks, including
France's Credit Agricole and Societe Generale
, to sell their operations in Greece to local peers in
Alpha acquired Emporiki Bank from Credit Agricole in 2012.
Greece's top four banks control about 90 percent of the
country's banking market after a wave of consolidation and the
winding-down of smaller banks that were deemed non-viable.